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Initial Research

Your first task is to research the topic and find a variety of information about it.  You need to come up with at least 20 different ideas, facts, and quotations which you will record on the note outline.  Record a full MLA citation for each source: see your planner pages 125-126 for examples.  You may want to try http://www.easybib.com/ ,  https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/ or http://www.citationmachine.net/mla/cite-a-book for more help with citations.

The following are some resources that will help you get started on your research, but are not required:

Brainstorming for Topic Ideas

KWL Sheet

Complete and turn in this Note Outline in Canvas to get credit for your research.

Look at the three questions in this document to help focus your research.

Use the following types of sources:




At least two facts from one Encyclopedia article


Use world book (under pioneer) or a different  encyclopedia to get another overview of your topic.


World Book if you need a user name and password enter 'mnjhs' and 'panther' or click on 'Find your school . . .'  then on "Mt. Nebo ...'

 Choose student, advanced, discover or the Spanish language version for encyclopedia articles.

The Encyclopedia Americana on the bookshelf in class

At least two facts from one book are required.


Use the different world civilizations and geography textbooks in class to introduce yourself to the topic.  You may want to also see what books are available in the school or city libraries.

Try the "Western Heritage" Textbook first

MLA Citations for the text books in the classroom:

Burstein, Stanley M. and Richard Shek.  World History.  Orlando: Holt, 2006.

Ellis, Elizabeth G. and Anthony Esler.  World History Connections to Today. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2005.

Kagan, Donald., Steven Ozment, and Frank M. Turner. The Western Heritage 7th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001.

Four are required

(two quotes and two images)

Primary Sources

First-hand information.  These are sources which were written down while your event took place.  You must include quotations from at least  two primary sources if your topic took place before 1700 and at least two if it took place after that.  (If you are in an honors class add at least one more primary source).  Try world book advanced for some of these.  



European History Primary Sources

World Book Advanced  if you need a user name and password enter 'mnjhs' and 'panther' or click on 'Find your school . . .'  then on "Mt. Nebo ...'

 Choose advanced for primary sources

optional (but at least one map is required in your slideshow)


A collection of maps.  Find at least one map you can add to your presentation.

Check the World History Atlas in class

At least two facts from one peer-reviewed periodical article

Periodical (magazines)

A periodical containing a collection of articles, stories, pictures, or other features.  Many are published online.


EBSCO - search for articles Follow the third link in column to the left, choose all databases, then select all and continue.

Google Scholar


Audio Visual Materials

Information that is presented using sight or sound, such as pictures and recordings.

You can use and site a piece of music, a painting, or a film if needed.  Check here for how to cite them.


***World Wide Web (WWW)

Only use sites that are reliable (see the table below).   No credit will be given for sources which do not meet the website evaluation criteria.

Use websites primarily to find graphics for your presentation.  



A conversation, such as one conducted by a reporter, in which facts or statements are obtained from another person.

Check here for how to cite them.

*** It is important to think about the websites you use for your report or project. There are four major things you should consider when evaluating a web resource:

Website Evaluation

Author or Sponsor

Is the author or group responsible listed on the website. Are the author’s or group’s qualifications listed on the website. Is the author’s or group’s contact information listed on the site?

Wikipedia, biography.com, history.com and any other sites without an identifiable author may not be used for this research.


Does the author or organization clearly state the purpose of the website. (e.g. inform, explain, persuade).  Does the author/sponsoring organization have anything to gain by presenting this information? Is the author or group responsible an authority on the subject? Is the information presented on the website  free from bias - gender, race, religion?

Sites which are from a specific organization such as a museum or university are considered more reliable than general purpose sites.

Date Published

Does the website show the date it was created? Was it updated recently?


Does the title tell you about the content of the website? Is the information on the site accurate when compared to other sources? Does it improve or confirm your knowledge of the subject. Do the pictures, photographs, graphs, video and sound files help you understand the subject?

If you can answer YES to the questions in the chart above, you’ve probably found a good website.

Make a list of all the specific resources that you want to use to look for information on your topic.

Use these resources to find your 20+ facts, quotes and ideas and record them on the note outline.

 As you do your research look up the definitions for some of the key terms that apply your topic.  Include these definitions in your presentation.  You need to define at least 5 terms (or 10 for Honors classes) which will be new to most of the class and apply to the topic you studied.  

 Also look for some quotations in primary source documents that will support your thesis.  In your presentation and your paper, include at least two quotations from primary sources if your topic is from a time period before 1700 and at least three if it took place after that.  

Find 20+ facts (at least five per question, the more you find now the easier the next steps will be) and submit them in Canvas by the end of the day on 11/15.  Worth 40 points.

This will only be accepted through Canvas with one exception: if you are not able to do it on a computer, you may write it out by hand and turn it in on paper.  If you don't know how to turn it in through Canvas, see this link for instructions or make sure you ask for help at least 24 hours before it's due.